Erik Childress over at Cinematical has done the brave thing and decided to rank the current Best Pic contenders. This isn’t a practice we recommend because there is just no way to tell what films will emerge, really, out of Toronto, Venice or the end of the year’s last gasp. Childress knows this and makes an attempt to actually give a real reading of what’s been seen thus far and what might get some attention later. ¬†Read Childress’ full piece, but here are his rankings. I have a few bones to pick with this, which I’ll do after the cut.
1. Inception – The frontrunner until someone starts creating a moronic backlash.
2. Toy Story 3 – Highest grossing film of the year so far. 2nd highest animated of all-time.
3. The Kids are All Right – The indie film of the moment that audiences and critics are digging.
4. Shutter Island – Should have been in the ten last year.
5. Winter’s Bone – Much better than the #3 film. Lead Actress talk may take front and center.
6. Get Low – If Crazy Heart was considered a contender, then this has to be.
7. Never Let Me Go – The trailer may as well just announce its already been nominated.
8. The Social Network – 10 nominations for Fincher’s last film. And it kinda sucked.
9. Somewhere – Sofia Coppola back in Lost In Translation territory?
10. Miral – If Focus didn’t already have two films on the list, I may have neglected Weinstein’s chances.
I love Shutter Island but it’s out, and it’s out for two reasons. ¬†The first and most compelling is that it’s a Scorsese movie and Scorsese is already considered someone who has won. ¬†He won’t get another crack at Oscar unless he goes above and beyond. ¬†Remember, we can’t predict Oscars based on what we’d like to see, but rather, what will be. ¬†The second reason, once Inception came along, it wiped away Shutter Island’s chances. ¬†Is it a contender? ¬†Definitely. ¬†But it will be left as one of the ten by year’s end and if someone asked me that question today, I’d say no.
Get Low has a great shot for Duvall for Best Actor, maybe Sissy Spacek, Bill Murray as a possible outside supporting nod, but Best Picture? ¬†It’s not considered one of the best of the year. ¬†And Crazy Heart was not nominated for Best Picture and I don’t think I ever thought it would make it in. ¬†I thought Star Trek for that last slot, but it turned out to be The Blind Side.
I have been wrong before so, as usual, take it with a grain of salt. ¬†What I do know is that a movie has to have the hearts of the critics or massive box office at this point in time to last for the whole brutal season. ¬†For me, there are only realistically two movies that are strong contenders – Toy Story 3 and Inception. ¬†Beyond that, next in line would be The Kids Are All Right which has the hearts of the critics, but is also a movie for our time. ¬†That is upsets conservatives is just the cherry on the sundae. ¬†Winter’s Bone, maybe, but they’ll have to fight hard for that one to make it about anything other than Jennifer Lawrence’s career on the rise.
Other than that, we have our wishful thinking. ¬†Then again, if you dream, dream big.
To that end, it’s really impossible to rank movies. ¬†One can only rank expectation.